As The Smoke Goeth Upward

And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. 1 Corinthians 16:10

Long ago a young man named John Carmichael became pastor of a rural church in Scotland. He was insecure, and though he tried hard to prepare his sermons, he battled stage fright and often forgot his points. One afternoon, he heard a knock at the door. The elders had sent a representative to see him, and he expected to be dismissed from his role. But, no, the message was: “Remember, when you stand in your place to speak to us in the name of the Lord, that as the smoke goeth up from the homes of the people in the morning, so will their prayers be ascending, for their minister, and as you look down upon us before you begin to speak, maybe say to yourself next Sabbath, ‘They are all loving me.’”

Because of that encouragement, Carmichael thrived in his work and became a long-tenured and greatly loved minister in the highlands of Scotland.1

Who can we encourage today? When we involve ourselves with others, the effects will be long-lasting. Great rewards are found when we take time to involve and invest ourselves in the lives of others. If there is no deposit, there is no return.

Optimism and enthusiasm are more powerful than sarcasm and cynicism. John Wooden, The Essential Wooden

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